Aidan Walsh never gave himself less of a chance at beating his longtime amatuer boxing nemesis than the manner in which he left the ring following his last bout.
The welterweight representative for Ireland will have to settle for a Bronze medal without actually stepping in the ring. An ankle injury sustained by Walsh surrounding a quarterfinal win over Merven Clair (Mauritius) left him unfit to compete with Great Britain's Pat McCormack in the welterweight semifinals Sunday at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.
McCormack officially wins the scheduled bout via walkover. The number-one seed at welterweight will now advance to the Gold medal round, where he will await the winner of the other scheduled semifinal bout between another set of amateur rivals in Roniel Iglesias (Cuba) and Andrei Zamkovoi (ROC).
The Great Britain vs. Ireland battle was one of the days more anticipated battles given the longstanding rivalry, even if the fight itself didn't figure to be competitive. McCormack has beaten Walsh three times before heading into the Tokyo Olympics and has looked dominant in his run towards welterweight supremacy.
Still, Walsh wanted nothing more than to represent Ireland in the semifinal round. Unfortunately, his enthusiastic celebration following his win over Clair contributed in large part to injuring his ankle to the point of having to be wheeled to his dressing room.
Walsh was unable to heal up in time for the pre-fight weigh-in, officially declaring him as a medical scratch.
McCormack advances Great Britain's record in Tokyo to 18-5 overall, including 10-3 for the men's team. The nation as a whole is assured four medals, including at least one Silver with McCormack's advancement in the Olympics.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox